title: words like those
pairing: Jinguji Yuta/Nakamura Reia
word count: 2,436
author's note: The Japanese words that are italicized are also links, so hopefully nothing is unclear. ^^; I love this pair, but they're stupid teenagers, so… you can't expect them to be too mature? XD; Written for shiritori @ writetomyheart~
summary: What he means is 'I love you,' but right here, right now isn't the time.
More rewarding than winning, whenever they're playing cards in the dressing room backstage between the matinee and the evening show, or else when they're not needed during a long tech rehearsal, is seeing the look on Jinguji's face when he wins a third game in a row and lights up like a Christmas tree, to Reia, at least. The others groan and grumble when Jinguji throws down his last few cards at the end of a round of daifugo and lets out a whoop of excitement before bragging and pestering the rest of the group until the game ends, and Reia does have to admit, he's a pretty awful winner. He'd be pretty hard-pressed to try to think of something more obnoxious than the way Jinguji looks over everyone else's shoulder once he's out, strutting around the circle and looking down on the rest of them like he's the king of their little group of friends, and he can see the way the others shoot looks of aggravation between themselves as Jinguji gives them boastful advice from his vast card-playing experience. He does feel a little bad, both as Jinguji's boyfriend in the way that he often feels a little responsible for Jinguji's bad behaviour, but also because he intentionally loses to Jinguji, every single time.
But he doesn't feel bad enough to change, because before the yelling and leaping to his feet, before the posturing and obnoxious patronizing comes one of Reia's singular favourite things about Jinguji. Maybe it's because some part of him is just a little insecure behind his constant need to be bragging and acting like he's the best thing since MatsuJun, or maybe it's because he's still a little bit of a kid, impulsive and irresponsible and excitable, but whatever the reason, in the moment when Jinguji realizes he's going to win the game, his face blooms into the most earnest grin of glee that Reia has ever seen. It only lasts a split second, before he descends back into his regular posturing, but to Reia, that split second is more than worth it.
"If you play the six now, you can get out next round," Jinguji says authoritatively into Reia's ear as he looks over Reia's shoulder, pointing at the cards remaining in his hand.
"Hm~" Reia responds, trying not to betray the fact that he's been losing on purpose for the past couple games, for the couple shows, for the couple years. "What would I do without you?"
What he means is I love you, but right here, right now isn't the time, and so he smiles as Jinguji gives him an obnoxious smirk and wiggle of his eyebrows. He's pretty sure the look makes Genki want to punch Jinguji in the face, in the deepest, darkest corner of Genki's ever-responsible personality, but somehow, to Reia, it's endearing nonetheless.
More pleasing than eating what he wants, at the end of a long day of shows, after an exhausting eight hours of skating and singing and dancing, is watching the excitement and relish with which Jinguji devours everything in front of him when they go out to grab a late dinner together, to Reia, at least. Reia likes Western food, pasta or the few food options they have at coffee shops, and he knows at least a few of the others feel the same way, but Jinguji always wants beef, and so despite it all, Reia always finds himself casting a vote for Sukiya. It's common knowledge in their group of friends that Jinguji will be completely obnoxious whether they go where he wants or not; if Jinguji isn't in the majority, he'll whine and complain that the food wherever they do go isn't good enough for his standards, but if they do go where he wants, he'll spend the whole time boasting that he has amazing taste in food and trying to show off just how manly he is by how much he eats. It's pretty annoying, and Reia knows the others will talk about him later when he goes along with whatever Jinguji wants. He does feel a little bad, because he is a little bit guilty of unreciprocatedly doing whatever will make his boyfriend happy, but not that guilty, because it's not like they think. Jinguji may be a piece of work, but as much as he appreciates his friends' concern, Reia's a big boy who can take care of himself.
And either way, he definitely doesn't feel bad enough not to vote for Jinguji's preferred fast food restaurant, because even if gyudon isn't Reia's favourite food in the world, he doesn't mind it, either, and it's well worth it and worth listening to Jinguji's never-ending stream of self-praise in order to get to watch him enjoy his meal. Maybe it's because he spends so much time posturing the rest of the time, or maybe it's because he puts so much thought into who's watching him that Jinguji rarely enjoys the small things in life, but whenever he digs into a dish that he really enjoys, his eyes light up like this is the best thing that's ever happened to him. It's sometimes hard to notice, with how fast he usually shovels his food into his face in some misplaced attempt at manliness, but to Reia, even the short window of enjoyment is more than worth it.
"If you're not hungry anymore, I'll finish that for you," Jinguji offers when Reia's paused for a moment, lost in his own appreciation of Jinguji's appreciation of his food.
"Okay~" Reia responds, despite the fact that he could have finished it on his own, because really, it's much more worth it to watch Jinguji enjoy it than to enjoy it himself, and it always has been, it always will be. "What would I do without you?"
What he means is I love you, but he's pretty sure if he said it out loud, it would make Jinguji choke on the remains of Reia's food, and while he's pretty sure that, especially as revenge for all the carrying on over the course of the evening, Fu would probably be highly appreciative if he did just that, Reia thinks it would probably put a damper on things.
More entertaining than seeing what he wants to see, on the rare weekend when their group of friends has time to go see a movie together, between runs of shows or on holiday weekends, is getting to feel Jinguji squeezing his hand tight when things get tense in the inevitably scary or suspenseful movie of Jinguji's choice, to Reia, at least. Reia's not a huge fan of horror movies, and he knows that some of the others aren't, either, but whenever they go to the movies as a group, inevitably, whether to boast how unafraid he is or because he honestly likes being scared shitless, Reia doesn't know, Jinguji always insists they see the scary movie available. If the rest of their group of friends doesn't agree, Jinguji will call them babies or tease them for being scared, but this mostly has no effect, especially after how long they've all being hanging out together now, and so they end up splitting up between a few theatres. Even Reia has to admit that Jinguji's behaviour is pretty obnoxious, but nevertheless, every time, he ends up being the one who agrees to go with Jinguji. He can see the others rolling their eyes and talking amongst themselves as they go their separate ways, into separate theatres, leaving Reia to his fate. He does feel a little bad, because it would be nice to see a movie as one big group sometimes, but not that guilty, since it's not like anyone's really being forced to watch something he doesn't like, in the long run.
Because he's brave enough to face a horror movie or two, and besides, he definitely doesn't feel bad enough to change, because once the movie has started, it's more than worth being a little afraid to feel Jinguji suddenly begin holding his hands when things get scary. Maybe it's because the only place he doesn't feel he has to puff himself up is in the dark of a movie theatre, or maybe it's because he trusts Reia enough not to tell, but whatever he's thinking, it happens time and time again, whenever they see a horror movie together. It only lasts a little while, for a quarter of the movie at the longest, but to Reia, feeling Jinguji really open up to him, even in the tiniest of ways, makes it more than worth the potential nightmares from the film.
"You were totally scared, weren't you," Jinguji says with a smirk when the lights come up and everyone begins to leave. "I bet you were glad I was there to hold your hand!"
"Yup~" Reia responds, smiling back at Jinguji and playing along, like he knows Jinguji wants him to, because if Jinguji doesn't want to admit his weakness even though he's willing to let Reia see it, Reia will respect that. "What would I do without you?"
What he means is I love you, but if Jinguji's not ready to admit that he held Reia's hand of his own accord, he definitely isn't ready for heavy words like those, and so he says nothing as they go to meet the others outside the theatre. He's pretty sure that Jinguji sends Kishi to the verge of tears even upon describing the plot of the movie they've seen, but somehow, hearing it again just makes Reia think of the feel of Jinguji's palm against his own, even now.
"Why do you do that?" Fu asks one day while they're sitting around waiting for the choreographer to be ready for them one day at Shounen Club rehearsal. Jinguji has gone ahead to practice his solo by himself in one of the smaller studios, leaving their game of cards behind for Reia to pick up after him.
"Because if I didn't, no one else would clean up his messes?" Reia replies with a laugh, glancing at Fu over his shoulder. "It's not like I really mind."
"No, not that, though I wouldn't do that either," Fu replies, waving a hand at Reia before going back to reorganizing the contents of Kishi's bag, which Kishi had spilled in an unsurprising moment of clumsiness a few minutes earlier. Reia raises an eyebrow at the hypocrisy, but doesn't say anything, waiting for Fu to continue.
Instead, however, Genki cuts in, looking up from where he's doing his cram school homework, his whole body tense still from the eternal pressure. "He means, you shouldn't have to always let Jinguji win, or do what he wants," he clarifies, licking his lips nervously, as if Reia might be angry at him.
But Reia only smiles as he finishes packing up the cards and slips them into Jinguji's bag, shaking his head and shrugging. "I don't mind," he repeats, because he's never really been one for confrontation.
"But you shouldn't let Jinguji be mean to you," Amu adds, looking back and forth between Genki and Reia worriedly. "I mean… I don't think he tries to be mean, but…"
But Genki shakes his head at Amu's confusion, adding, "But if he tells you you have to do that sort of thing, that just isn't healthy. It's a sign of an unhealthy relationship." Genki must have looked up 'signs of an unhealthy relationship' on google, or something, Reia thinks, and while it makes him smile to know that his friends care and worry about him, he shakes his head, because it's completely unnecessary.
"I just like to make him happy," Reia replies easily, because that's really all there is to it. "Because I like him."
It feels good, to say it out loud, even if he can only do it when Jinguji is out of earshot, but somehow, he thinks that maybe, the real feelings behind his words have shown through enough.
"Just… be careful," Genki says slowly, but before he can say anything else, Kishi overturns his bag again, causing everything Fu had just carefully repacked to go tumbling to the ground again.
"Say that to him," Reia responds with a laugh, but what he really means is thank you.
More than the comfort of his own bed, whenever possible, Reia likes spending the night in Jinguji's room, in Jinguji's bed, in Jinguji's arms. Jinguji's parents are wealthy and Jinguji is an only child, so he has much nicer things than Reia does, higher quality soap and more expensive pillows and softer sheets, and he likes to brag about them to Reia whenever possible. Reia nods and smiles, but all he really wants is to fall asleep by Jinguji's side.
Jinguji pretends to be too cool for cuddling or any signs of affection like that, but late into the evening and drowsy at the end of a long day, he never seems to mind having Reia curled into his side, and so Reia has never shied away, not when this is really the way he can say best what, for whatever reason, he can never say in words.
And so he snuggles close as Jinguji presses kisses to his face, his neck, his lips in a way he must think is adult or sexy but really is nothing but endearing to Reia, and listens to the sound of his breath, the rhythmic pounding of his heart as Jinguji begins to drift off beside him. He'd thought it was weird at first, but now, it's comforting to feel Jinguji bury his face in Reia's hair, taking a deep breath and sighing contentedly, it feels almost like maybe, in his own strange way, Jinguji might be saying something similar to him, too.
He lays in the dark for a while, feeling Jinguji breathe in the scent of his hair and feeling his muscles relax against Reia's, and he's just about to drift off to sleep, himself, when suddenly, Jinguji tightens an arm around Reia's waist, shifting in his sleep.
"What would I do without you…?" Jinguji mumbles into Reia's hair, just loud enough for Reia to hear, and wake right back up again, a grin on his face as his heart skips a beat in his chest.
"I love you," he responds in a whisper against Jinguji's chest as he snuggles even closer still, and no matter how many times he loses at cards, no matter how many undesirable meals he eats, no matter how many horror movies he watches, more than anything, he means it.